Vegas Money Moves – Week 5

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The Nevada sportsbooks jumped out to a quick lead over the public with underdogs ruling Week 4 action. The most popular teams didn’t cover the spread and some lost outright which killed loads of parlays and teasers before they could gain any momentum. It was one of the most relaxing risk-free no sweat Sunday’s the bookmakers have had in a long time.
The popular NFL public teams in Week 5 have already been revealed by the public and they’ve come back with a vengeance to get their losses back.
“Our No. 1 bet parlay team so far is the Patriots,” said CG Technologysportsbook director Tony DiTomasso.
“Then it’s the Chiefs and the third team is the Chargers, although I think that play is more about betting against the (0-4) Broncos.”
Westgate Las Vegas SuperBookVP Jay Kornegay said he has the Patriots and Chiefs as the top parlay teams and then the third team being the Bears (-5) who play the Raiders in North London at the sleek new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 
The surprising part about the Patriots and Chiefs is that both have big numbers that tend to scare off the public. But after last week, some bettors are going back to their old reliables so taking the Patriots as 15-point road favorites at Washington and the Chiefs laying 11-points at home against the Colts doesn’t faze them. They are two of only three undefeated teams remaining after four weeks.
Colt McCoy is expected to start at quarterback for the Redskins while the Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is out for the season, forcing them to sign former Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent as a replacement.   
Those are the main teams the books will be looking to beat, but they’d also like to win against the wiseguys who have done well against the books the past two weeks.
“We had a guy come in last night (Thursday) taking the Falcons +5 that pushed us down to Texans -4 now and he also took the 49ers -3.5 (vs. Browns Monday night) and we’re at -4 now,” said DiTomasso, who also mentioned this particular bettor has respected money, which means he usually moves a number his way regardless of risk on the game..
The 49ers are the third undefeated team (3-0) they and come off a bye while the Browns only two wins and covers have come on the road. The only Las Vegas book not at -4 on Friday afternoon was the Mirage at -3.5 -120.
“A game they jumped on right away on Monday was Tampa Bay,” DiTomasso said. “They took +4.5, +4 and then +3.5 yesterday to drop us to Saints -3.”
CG books posted the early Week 5 lines last week with the Saints listed as seven-point home favorites, but the combination of the Buccaneers destroying the Rams, 55-40, in Week 4 and the Saints offense missing QB Drew Brees there’s a major rating and perception change.  
“I don’t know, I thought the Saints looked pretty good the last two weeks,” DiTomasso said.
They certainly did. Winning at Seattle in Week 3 and then beating the Cowboys 12-10 at home last Sunday night is impressive. While backup QB Teddy Bridgewater has looked very average, it appears as if their defense and special teams have raised their game up a notch.
By the way, the Bucs went into New Orleans in Week 1 last season and won 48-40 with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB. 
“We also had a guy chasing the market with the Jaguars taking +3.5 (flat),” DiTomasso said who is at Carolina -3.5 -105 now. The South Point and Boyd Gaming are both at Panthers -3 flat.
One of the larger numbers of the week is the Jets at Eagles matchup from Philadelphia that no one seems to be excited about. 
“There's a lot of Eagles -14.5s out there, but we stayed at -14 and haven’t had anyone play it yet,” DiTomasso said.
QB Sam Darnold has been ruled out for the Jets and Luke Falk will get the start, but it’s telling about a spread on a key number when no one lays it. Perhaps -13.5 is the number. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson remains 'out' and offensive tackle Jason Peters is 'questionable' for the Birds.     
Kornegay said their top sharp plays at the Superbook this week have been the Steelers, Buccaneers, Broncos and Falcons
The SuperBook opened the Ravens as four-point road favorites at Pittsburgh and the Ravens are -3 now. The Ravens have lost their last two games while the Steelers picked up their first win last Monday at home against the Bengals. The favorite has covered the number only once in the last nine meetings.
I was kind of shocked to hear sharp action was on the winless Broncos taking +6 at the Chargers. The Broncos are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games -- all straight-up losses too. But they did win in Carson, California last season and for whatever reason, the road team has cashed more money in this series going 12-4-2 ATS in the last 18 meetings between the pair.

Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 15 years.

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